Dave Krieg threw three touchdown passes and Norm Johnson set a team record with four field goals as the Seattle Seahawks won their first National Football League regular season opener ever by defeating the Cleveland Browns, 33-0, today.
The Seahawks lost all-pro running back Curt Warner in the second quarter when he injured his knee while making a cut on a sweep. Warner limped off the field to the dressing room and did not return to the game. "It's possible ligament damage," a team spokesman said. He said Warner would have arthroscopic surgery Tuesday morning, but could not say how long the running back would be out.
"We paid a price for this one," Seattle Coach Chuck Knox said. He added, shaking his head, "He didn't even get hit. He got hurt making a cut."
Krieg completed 14 of 28 passes for 179 yards and was intercepted once. He passed 34 yards for a touchdown to rookie Darryl Turner in the second half, and five yards to tight end Mike Tice and seven to Paul Johns in the first half. It was the first pro touchdown for Tice, in his fourth year from Maryland.
Johnson made kicks of 50, 41, 24 and 22 yards to equal Efren Herrera's 1980 team record of four field goals in a game.
The Seahawks, who had lost their eight previous openers, handed the Browns their first shutout since Nov. 27, 1977, when they were beaten by the Los Angeles Rams, 9-0. Knox was the coach of the 1977 Rams.
"I'll be burning the game film just as soon as it's developed," Cleveland Coach Sam Rutigliano said. "I may even throw it out of the plane when it gets to 35,000 feet.
"Our defense didn't play that. But our offense reminded me of the tango; one, two, three, kick."